CI 440: Library Facilities

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  • Take about 10 minutes to browse the sets. Discussion?!?


  • 1. Designing Library Spaces
  • 2. Setting the mood… Find one image that symbolizes the physical environment or mood you want to present in your school library. Paste it onto the whiteboard.
  • 3. You know your library needs a makeover when…
  • 4. Number 5 The poster next to your circulation desk used to be orange, but has faded to an unappealing shade of pink
  • 5. Number 4 Things have been stored in “temporary” places for so long that your students and staff think that’s where they belong.
  • 6. Number 3 The celebrities in your posters are so uncool that the teachers are the only ones who recognize them.
  • 7. Number 2 The duct tape holding your posters up disintegrates and showers down on you as you pull them off the walls
  • 8. And the number 1 clue your library needs a makeover…. The art teacher who painted the pictures in your library is not just retired, but deceased.
  • 9. Who cares?
    • Students will think that because a library looks dated, it IS dated. It won’t matter how new your collection is.
    • Making the place visually appealing to students will make them want to be there
    • Neglect of your library’s appearance is interpreted as neglect of the library program
  • 10.  
  • 11. When planning a renovation or revitalization….
  • 12. Take the time to study how your current space is used
  • 13. Weed your collection before a rearrangement, renovation or rebuild
  • 14. Survey your faculty & student about what’s missing from your current library
  • 15. Visit other libraries for ideas
  • 16. Project & Predict: how might your user’s needs and your needs change in 5 years? 10? 20?
  • 17. Find a library building consultant Fred Schlipf, Building Consultant Web Site: Contact distributors; many have consultants on staff with training in interior design & decorating (Brodart, Ingram, Demco) – often they will consult with you for free in hopes you’ll buy from them
  • 18. Take 2 X 2 Consider the library spaces you know for children & teens. List 2 things that work List 2 things that need work
  • 19. Sharing Spaces A Library Tour
  • 20. There are several types of library space:
    • Entrance space
    • Study area & relaxed reading space
    • Class work area
    • Computer areas
    • Staff work space
    • Collection space
    • Meeting space & special use space
  • 21. First Impressions: The Entrance
  • 22.  
  • 23. What to keep in mind
    • The entrance to the library should reflect its important role in the school. Make sure the kids know they are entering an important place
    • Use the entry to re-enforce the library’s message: students are welcome here
  • 24. What to do
    • Get rid of out of date pictures, mirrors, and equipment
    • Add color
    • Make the entrance student friendly – artwork, displays, posters, bulletin boards, etc.
  • 25.  
  • 26. Cost $2.50 for binder clips
  • 27.  
  • 28.  
  • 29. Cost: paint for murals
  • 30. Study Area Relaxed Reading Area
  • 31.  
  • 32. What to keep in mind
    • Students don’t study in a library atmosphere at home
    • It’s easier to concentrate when you’re comfortable
    • Silence bothers kids more than noise
  • 33. Occupancy Have a good idea of the number of students who will using your library at a time; plan for occupancy
  • 34. What to do
    • Put something interesting on the walls
    • Arrange a distinct study area where students can be away from classes who are doing research
    • Add some comfortable furniture
    • Play music
    • Put fun reading materials in this area
    • Do not create too many rules for the area. Let students relax; try telling them what they CAN do here instead of what they can’t
  • 35.  
  • 36.  
  • 37. Cost: Appx $25 for posters, $70 for rocking chair, $5.99 for plant
  • 38. Cost: $35 for Elvis, appx $20 for tree decorations
  • 39. Cost: appx $300 for heavy-duty bean bag chairs; $70 for display cube
  • 40. Cost: Floor Rockers $100 each; display cube $70
  • 41. Cost: Café tables/chairs $300; circle chairs $50 each; rug $25; Teen favorites/graphic novel signs $25 ea.; posters $12 each
  • 42.  
  • 43. Class Work Area
  • 44.  
  • 45. What to Keep in Mind
    • Students need to interact with each other to learn
    • Students are lazy. Make sure all research materials (reference collection, computers, etc.) are close at hand.
  • 46. What To Do
    • Add new wall decorations
    • Get rid of clutter
    • Get rid of huge study tables, allowing for more small group activity (6-8 students at a table is too many!) and more classes
    • Move reference area and computers closer to class study area – make area convenient for students to use
  • 47.  
  • 48. Cost: $10 ea. for posters
  • 49.  
  • 50.  
  • 51. Computer Areas
  • 52.  
  • 53. Integrated Technology Have a thorough understanding of the technological requirements of the space, including anticipated future needs.
  • 54. What to keep in mind
    • Technology spaces need to be flexible – we don’t know what our tech needs will be in the future
    • Students need access to computers, but access needs to be supervised
  • 55. What to do
    • Keep the computers clean
    • Try different (unconventional?) arrangements for technology
    • Keep cord clutter out of sight
    • Get rid of equipment that doesn’t work
  • 56.  
  • 57.  
  • 58.  
  • 59. While you’re away… What do you think is the #1 thing you could do to improve a library space?
  • 60. Staff Work Space
  • 61.  
  • 62.  
  • 63. What to keep in mind
    • Don’t build a fortress – make the circulation desk approachable
    • Don’t hide out in your office – students won’t come find you there.
    • Encourage “impulse buys” at the check out counter
    • Clutter isn’t appealing
  • 64. What to do
    • Decorate the circ desk
    • Put displays near the circ station & library sign-in sheet so kids will check them out
    • Make sure you can see the whole library from the circ desk
    • Get rid of the clutter – create a space to store your work
    • Create a space for yourself at the desk so you can work comfortable there.
    • Clean out your storage room & keep it clean!
  • 65.  
  • 66.  
  • 67.  
  • 68.  
  • 69.  
  • 70. Collection Areas
  • 71.  
  • 72. Shelving systems Depending on the particular needs of a library space, shelving systems can be integrated into the design of the room or installed as modular and adaptable units.
  • 73. What to keep in mind
    • Collection space is for research and for browsing
    • Things need to be easy to find
    • The collection needs to be visually appealing
    • Shelf space should be adequate
  • 74. What to do
    • Shelf read – keep the books in order
    • Create appealing signs to help students find materials
    • Weed - shelves should only be about 2/3 full
    • Use empty shelf space & shelf tops to display books, plants & student art
    • Make sure collection area is well lit
  • 75.  
  • 76.  
  • 77.  
  • 78. Meeting Space & Special Use Space
  • 79.  
  • 80.  
  • 81. What to keep in mind
    • Your library will need to serve a variety of different needs & patrons, sometimes at the same time
    • Space needs to be flexible – create zones
    • Students, teachers, administrators & visitors will use your space.
    • Watch how the space is used to anticipate needs
  • 82. Acoustic and Visual Privacy Library space types will typically include reading and private work/study areas that require acoustic and visual separation from general circulation and work areas.
  • 83. What to do
    • Don’t be afraid to make changes when needs change.
    • Make all spaces appealing – don’t turn areas designated for other things into overflow storage
    • Provide for the needs of the people using the space – whiteboards, markers, TV/DVD player
  • 84.  
  • 85.  
  • 86. With your group….
    • Consider the library area and tips we just discussed
    • Pick one area that you can see well in your photos
    • (entrance, relaxed reading area, class workspace, computer area, staff workspace, collection area, meeting/special use space)
    • What’s working in this area?
    • What’s not?
    • What could be done for cheap/free to improve this space?
    • What could be done if you had some money
    • (say a couple of thousand $$?)
  • 87. Getting Ideas
  • 88. Getting Ideas
    • Use your students as resources – ask for their suggestions, use their artwork and other class work for free decorations
    • Consider surveying your students to see what they want, or form a Student Advisory Board and ask them for suggestions – and not just about decorating!
    • Give students digital cameras and ask them to take pictures of their favorite spaces – then use the photos for inspiration
    • Consider using a theme to pull together your decorating: sports, the 1960s, the jungle, etc.
    • Use magazines, student lockers, fashion and fads for inspiration
    • Have fun – think like a student
  • 89. Getting Stuff
  • 90. Getting Stuff
    • Pick up furniture secondhand
    • Ask for furniture donations from the public (be specific about needs, requirements, etc.)
    • Get on corporate donation lists
    • Use common items in creative ways
    • Use fine $ and/or $ from fundraisers to buy new stuff you can’t get free or secondhand
    • Repurpose what you have
  • 91. Cost: $2 for fabric; letters found
  • 92. Cost: free
  • 93. Getting Stuff Done
  • 94. Getting Stuff Done
    • Take all posters and decorations down at the end of each year. This forces you to change things at least once a year
    • Try to accomplish one “decorating” task per week – you’ll be amazed at how much you get done by the end of the year
    • Save big tasks for early dismissal days, institute days or P/T conferences
  • 95. Cost: $35 Elvis; $20 tree decorations, $25 poster at Kinko’s
  • 96. Finding Space
  • 97. Finding Space
    • Move things around – experiment
    • Use tops of shelves, sides of bookcases – any blank or empty space is fair game for decorating
    • Think vertical – stack things (milk crates, bins, pedestals, etc)
    • Use portable displays, furniture, etc. so you can move things around to accommodate new situations
    • Use the ceiling – be 3-D
    • A separate recreational reading area doesn’t have to be large, but it’ll make a huge impact and say a lot about students being welcome in the library
  • 98. Displays
  • 99. Displays
    • A display can brighten an area as well as entice students to use library resources
    • Think impulse buy – put new book or themed book displays near the circ desk, sign in sheet, computers – anywhere that is a high traffic area
    • Incorporate other objects into book displays to add visual appeal
    • Make sure themed book displays are of themes that are interesting to students – figure out what’s hot now, or ask a student to do the display
    • Change and replenish displays frequently – keep your students looking
    • Use the ends of bookshelves to display books – make your entire fiction section a book display
  • 100. Cost: Free
  • 101.  
  • 102. Starting from Scratch What are some of the things you’ll need to think about when designing a library from scratch?
  • 103. Heavy floor loads Library stacks and records storage are typically designed for a 150 lbs per square foot load.
  • 104. Special Lighting Establishing lighting zones at the beginning of the design process. Differentiate between the lighting needs for shelving, circulation, reading and workrooms. Consider energy efficient lighting.
  • 105.  
  • 106. Coming Up…
    • On-campus Day
    • Scenario 4 & Portfolio due July 21st